Monday, September 28, 2009

A summer annual blow out… Literally!

Even though it is the beginning of meteorological fall it feels like the end of October, with overcast skies, a high in the upper 50s and wind gusts up to 45 MPH.

While I was driving around this morning, I noticed the summer annuals; having been bombarded with cold wind and rain from a low that descended on us from Canada last night, look downright sad. The wind sucked the life out of the sweet potato vines, the red salvias are looking thin and the petunias bearing little to no flowers, these containers are just screaming for a fall makeover.

Just when you start breaking out the sweaters, your once beautiful pots would like to be updated to match the season too. The available assortment for the autumn show is awesome. For living texture you have kales, cabbages, grasses, mums, asters, ajugas, sedums, pansies, ivies and various other cool loving perennials. For accents you can use bunches of dried grasses, dried hydrangeas, cut willow branches and bittersweet. To be even more creative you can use large structures in your containers such as various shaped bamboos (etc. trellises, teepees, obelisks) pumpkins, squash and gourds (both fresh and dried). You’ll be amazed at the possibilities and the ability to express your individuality. Come on in and we will be glad to inspire you or visit your local independent garden center.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Earth box intro

As the season comes to a slowing we all reflect on our accomplishments or disappointments in the vegetable garden. It was the first time that many of my staff had witnessed the whole process of vegetable growing and all of us partook in the fruits of our own labor. With the cool season of summer of 2009, well below average temperatures, we had some veggies that thrived and some that were mediocre. Our cool crops(broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale) were awesome and are still producing. Our tomatoes were OK, still there are lots of green ones and hopefully a warm Indian summer should ripen the rest. However, the new garden gadget that we all were taken by surprise was the "Earth Box". No one expected that piece of plastic to yield anything, it did two almost 7 foot monsters (1 early girl, 1 sweet 100's) with and abundance of fruit. One of my lucky customers had spied it the week of the fourth of July (it had just started to have ripening fruit) and had us deliver it to the back patio of her home. She had plenty of cherry tomatoes for her salads all summer long and loads of juicy 'Early Girl' Tomatoes for her burgers.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First things first

Welcome to “A Gardening Life” Blog. My name is Elizabeth and I live and work in our 4th generation family owned garden center just north of Chicago. Educating and garden problem solving for our area are two of our strongest missions in the green industry. But we wanted to extend our helpful know-how to people in our region and across our beautiful country. Please feel free to comment or ask question. We love to help!